We've brewed 500 litres of Eastgate Special and 500 more of Newgate Blonde. It's in our fermentors and it's heading into cans on Friday 26 March 2021.
We decided against driving our beer around the country in big plastic bags. The bags can't be good for the environment and driving it around in a bag on a pallet is neither good for the environment or the beer.
Pretty much all the canners I spoke to said they would sterilize the beer and recarbonate it. That'd mean we'd have to artificially carbonate our beer to work with most of these guys. I don't see the sense in that. So have decided to naturally carbonate it by conditioning the beer in the cans. Getting the temperatures just right will make it lightly sparkling.
Another issue that's bad for our business is spillage. Okay, so the bags most likely will not spill but the nice people at Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs want paying for the duty before we take it out of the brewery, and we have to buy all our ingredients and pay all the costs for making the beer, and what gets lost along the way we have to pay anyway. This all adds directly to our costs - we have to pay for packaging the full amount we deliver and pay the beer duty on it, even if it never sees the inside of your glasses.
It isn't like that for the big brewers and the thousands of brands they sell their beers under - they only pay when the packaged beer heads to the store or the pub.
Many canners weren't interested in our small batch quantities either, and others insisted that we must let them pasteurise and sterilize our beer to work with them. No thanks!
So instead we have worked with Them That Can (http://www.themthatcan.com) where Mark and Aaron have given us the full kid gloves treatment that we need as canning virgins, and as I write this we feel well prepared for our first canning day (26 March 2021).
These guys are mobile canners so they will show up with a truck and some heavy duty kit that they call a Wild Goose Mobile 250MCE (pictured) that will purge, fill and seal 50 cans a minute. All going well they'll be done by lunchtime Friday for a liquid lunch and the early dart.
We will keep you posted.